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EntertainmentMoviesFidel Castro's Daughter Supports James Franco Casting

Fidel Castro’s Daughter Supports James Franco Casting

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The upcoming movie Alina of Cuba: La Hija Rebelde has been making waves with the casting of James Franco as Fidel Castro for multiple reasons. The main one being that Castro was very much a Cuban man while Franco is not. Alina Fernández, the daughter of Castro, has now opened up about the casting and is proud that the production is almost entirely Latino. Except for, you know, the star of the film Franco. Fernández will be played by Ana Villafañe in the film.

Fernández stated to Deadline that “the project is almost entirely Latino, both in front and behind the camera.” She went on to praise Franco’s physical likeness to her father as well as the reason for his casting. “James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma.”

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All of this comes after Franco agreed to pay $2.2 million dollars to two of his former students who sued him over alleged sexual misconduct. Alina of Cuba: La Hija Rebelde is one of the first new acting gigs for Franco which also includes the coming-of-age movie Me, You. So on top of the fact that Franco is not Cuban, he’s also been accused of sexual misconduct and paid out for it, so I guess that means he can now just head back into the world of acting?

RELATED: James Franco Cast in ‘Me, You’ Adaptation

“I find the selection of the cast amazing,” Fernández tells Deadline. “Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not only as an actress because she is also a great singer, a very complete performer. I’m sure that Mía Maestro, an actress I admire, will understand and interpret Naty, my mother, in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her building her character,” she added.

Despite Fernández being seemingly fine with Franco’s casting, we’ve already reported on how actor John Leguizamo criticized the casting writing “How is this still going on?” Leguizamo questioned in his statement. “How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement, which would be wrong! I don’t got a [problem] with Franco but he ain’t Latino!” He’s also posted another video explaining his upset at the casting.

The producer of the film John Martinez O’Felan responded to Leguizamo’s comments by saying to The Hollywood Reporter:

“A guy like John Leguizamo has historically been looked up to by Hispanics as one of America’s earliest actors of Latin descent since the ’90s and I’ve always admired him as a fellow underdog. But his comments are culturally uneducated and a blind attack with zero substance related to this project.”

This casting is, for the most part, a triple whammy because Franco is not Cuban, he has sexual misconduct allegations against him, and he also is seemingly not the focal point of the movie, that seems to go to Villafañe’s take on Fernández. But now the casting of Franco is overshadowing the film as a whole and forcing many to want to boycott the film, so it isn’t just another “ugh this annoying” moment but instead is a look at how frustrating the Hollywood system still is.


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